Often the grass on the other side seems greener. This time, the grass across the Tasman Sea doesn’t just seem greener. It’s going to be a lot greener, according to MYOB’s first Trans-Tasman business report.
According to the analysis by the accounting software provider, New Zealand SMEs are expected to outperform Australian SMEs across a number of key measures this year – including confidence, revenue expectations and sector-based growth. In fact, New Zealanders are enjoying some of the highest levels of revenue confidence seen in the last decade.
“In New Zealand, the effects of the Canterbury rebuild and growth in Auckland, combined with the rural sector’s performance, is underpinning what will likely be one of the most significant and sustained periods of growth in the country’s recent history,” said MYOB CEO Tim Reed.
Australia on to a good thing, too
Australia will not be a slouch either. It will have to overcome a winding down of the mining boom but the falling Australian dollar will help both exporters and tourism.
“In 2014, both countries enjoy the prospect of improving economic conditions. Here, businesses are more optimistic about growth in the year to August 2014 than they were in the previous 12 months, but the opportunities are probably at least six to 12 months behind where New Zealand sits,” Reed said.
There are differences in the expected performances of key sectors in the two countries. Whereas New Zealand’s construction, retail, manufacturing and rural sectors are expected to outperform Australia’s peers, Australia’s finance and insurance industry is project to slightly outstrip New Zealand’s.
It’s the Internet, stupid!
Still, a great point is made by the healthy synergies that exist between the great trans-Tasman rivals.
“While we’re fierce rivals on the sporting field, we are great mates elsewhere,” points out Reed. “New Zealand remains one of our strongest export markets. It’s a fantastic source of tourism revenue and a strongly performing extension of our finance sector. Positivity in the New Zealand economy means inevitable opportunity for local businesses.”
In its report, MYOB also cited the potential for technology, specifically online strategies, to be tapped by SMEs in both countries.
“One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to crack any market – international or closer to home – is to make the most of the Internet and the opportunities it affords for increasing both customer inquiry and revenue,” said Reed.
MYOB said its research showed that SMEs with both a business website and a social media site were at least 63% more likely to see a revenue rise than those who didn’t have either feature.
“Technology, and in particular online technology, is an irreversible force that is continuing to pervade the business communities of both countries. As SMEs embrace the potentially transformative benefits of the cloud and other technologies, we see an increase in productivity that delivers real benefits for both economies,” said Reed.